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D&A Cafe in Oakland Chinatown report

Eugene Park | Apr 6, 200606:04 AM

Hi all. Back from 3 weeks in Asia (mostly Shanghai), and had a definite hankering for Cantonese cuisine (outside of dim sum, it's not prevalent in most of China other than the southern provinces and HK). Decided to start my morning with some of the morning specials @ D&A Cafe in Oakland Chinatown to get my fix.

Got there about 10:30AM (specials run from 7AM to 11AM M-F), and decided to order 2 dishes to guarantee leftovers to take home. Got my usual order of beef with black bean sauce over chow fun ($3), and also a second order of dry fried beef chow fun ($3). Chased them down with an obligatory iced milk tea ($1).

Portion sizes for the chow funs are maybe 10-15% less than what you'd get at other Chinatown restaurants, but for roughly half the price, who's to complain? The iced milk team comes in a 16 or 20 oz. glass and is more than plentiful.

The dry fried beef chow fun came first. It was surprisingly underseasoned, and the beef to noodle ratio was below average. There seemed to be more bean sprouts and onions than beef. I ate half, then the black bean sauce beef chow fun arrived. Qty of beef to noodles was substantially better. This dish also had onions and bell peppers, both of which were in abundance but were in balance with the amount of beef. I'd always ordered and appreciated the bbsbcf, but now having a side by side comparison to the dfbcf, it's no contest what is the better choice.

Bill with tax and tip came to $9, and I had half orders of each chow fun to take with me. Value-wise, it almost felt like I was still in China....almost.

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